At the height of 3,143m, Fansipan has been widely known as the highest mountain in Vietnam and “the Roof of Indochina”.
Fansipan mountain is located in Lao Cai province, about 9km southwest of Sapa town. It belongs to the mountain range Hoang Lien Son, located in the northwest of Vietnam and lying in the border of two provinces: Lao Cai and Lai Chau.
How to get there
From Hanoi, tourists can catch an overnight train Hanoi-Sapa (333km) which arrives in Lao Cai province in the early next morning. After that, tourists go to Sapa from Lao Cai (38km) by car or public bus. At Sapa town, as planned, tourists go to Tram Ton, Cat Cat or Sin Chai to begin the conquest of Fansipan.
When to visit
September to the next March is good time for mountain climbing here. However, it would be great if one can make the conquest at the end of February, when flowers on the mountain blossom.
What to see at Fansipan mountain
The flora in Fansipan is so diverse with 1,680 species of plants, some in which are rare and able to be found only here. Hence, the mountain is an appealing natural attraction for any tourists, especially the ones who are interested in botany.
Types of plants vary depending on altitude: the foot of the mountain is home to jackfruit tree, cotton tree (bombax ceiba), pterocarya; while the area lower than 700m are covered by vast rainforest with tangled vines; from 700m to more than 2000m is the land of gymnosperms (seed-bearing plants) like fokienia, pine tree; and from 2,800m to the peak is home to short phyllostachys (25-30cm high), and some species of the genus rose, chrysanthemums and so on. Besides, climbers can see beautiful orchids and wild flowers along the way to the peak, especially in spring.
There are a number of waterfalls lying around the foot of the Mount Fansipan like Cat Cat, Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall), Thac Lanh (Cold Waterfall), Thac Ham Rong (Dragon Jaw Waterfall) or on the way to conquer the peak like Thac Tinh Yeu (Love Waterfall). These waterfalls are ideal resting places for climbers after a long journey as well as nice places for photo taking.